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Computing students' attitudes to environmental sustainability education

Smith, Sally; Egan, Callum; Plum, Kris


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Prof Sally Smith
Head of Graduate Apprenticeships and Skills Development and Professor

Kris Plum


Students have voiced concerns that their university courses do not equip them with sufficient information to understand the challenges of environmental sustainability. Although some universities (notably UWE and Keele, among others) have made significant changes to curricula, how best to approach introducing such topics is not widely known. Context is important in making decisions about curriculum changes. Such context would need to take account of subject area, professional body accreditation, pre-defined frameworks, student preferences and the level of knowledge of teaching staff. Thus, initiatives that have been successful elsewhere may (or may not) be successfully applied in a different context. To find out more about the context for computing students at Edinburgh Napier University, we surveyed students (n=50) to ask about their attitudes to environmental sustainability topics and how best such topics might be incorporated into their degree courses. We also asked about their preferences with respect to the environment being an integral part of campus life and how the pandemic had affected their environmental sustainability behaviours. The data was collected in February 2021 and we will present the survey and this data at the conference. We will also share the next steps in terms of curriculum development arising from the survey.


Smith, S., Egan, C., & Plum, K. (2021, June). Computing students' attitudes to environmental sustainability education. Paper presented at Horizons in STEM Higher Education, Online

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Horizons in STEM Higher Education
Start Date Jun 28, 2021
End Date Jun 29, 2021
Deposit Date Jul 6, 2021
Keywords environmental sustainability; student attitudes; permaculture
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